Eric Arthur von Hippel


Eric Arthur von Hippel


Eric von Hippel is the T. Wilson (1953) Professor in Management and a Professor of Management of Innovation and Engineering Systems at the MIT Sloan School of Management. 

His research discovers and explores patterns in the sources of innovation and develops new processes to improve the “fuzzy front end” of the innovation process—the end where ideas for breakthrough new products and services are developed. In his most recent book, Democratizing Innovation (MIT Press, April 2005), von Hippel shows how communities of users are actually becoming such powerful innovation engines that they are increasingly driving manufacturers out of product development altogether—a pattern he documents in fields ranging from open source software to sporting equipment. This discovery has been used for a better understanding of the innovation process and for the development of new innovation processes for industry. He is currently leading a major research project to discover how these user innovation communities work, and how and whether the same principles might extend to many areas of product and service development. In addition, von Hippel is working with governmental and academic colleagues in the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom to develop new and modified governmental policies appropriate to the newly emerging innovation paradigm of user-centered innovation. 

He holds a BA in economics from Harvard College, an SM in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in business and engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.



Eric von Hippel wins Innovation Luminary Award, Excellence in Innovation Research Award

Eric von Hippel honored

von Hippel recognized by the International Association of Management of Technology


"Open Sourcing as a Profit-Maximizing Strategy for Downstream Firms."

Gambardella, Alfonso, and Eric von Hippel. Strategy Science Vol. 4, No. 1 (2019): 41-57. Download Paper.

"When Patients Become Innovators."

​DeMonaco, Harry, Pedro Oliveira, Andrew Torrance, Christiana von Hippel, and Eric von Hippel. MIT Sloan Management Review, February 2019.

"Household Sector Innovation in China: Impacts of Income and Development."

​Chen, Jin, Yu-Shan Su, Jeroen P.J. de Jong, Eric von Hippel, MIT Sloan Working Paper 5557-18. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, July 2018.

"A Meeting of Innovation Minds."

​Torrance, Andrew, and Eric von Hippel. Northwestern Law Review Vol. 112, (2018): 177-186.

"Lead User Innovation Identification: Rapid Semantic Analyses of Digital Conversations."

Kaulartz, Sandro, and Eric von Hippel, MIT Sloan Working Paper 5555-18. Cambridge, MA: MIT Sloan School of Management, 2018.

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